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INTEGRATION AND ISLAMICISATION OF ACQUIRED HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AS A MUSLIM UNIVERSITY MISSION IN THE ERA OF TURBULENCE* By Prof. M. Kamal Hassan, ISTAC, IIUM.

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Presentation on theme: "INTEGRATION AND ISLAMICISATION OF ACQUIRED HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AS A MUSLIM UNIVERSITY MISSION IN THE ERA OF TURBULENCE* By Prof. M. Kamal Hassan, ISTAC, IIUM."— Presentation transcript:

1 INTEGRATION AND ISLAMICISATION OF ACQUIRED HUMAN KNOWLEDGE AS A MUSLIM UNIVERSITY MISSION IN THE ERA OF TURBULENCE* By Prof. M. Kamal Hassan, ISTAC, IIUM 1 Keynote speaker delivered at the Seminar Arab-Malaysian Global Higher Education Summit 2012, organized by USIM and AKEPT on October 4, 2012.

2 THE ERA OF TURBULENCE AND THE FAILURE OF THE 2012 RIO SUMMIT 2 If one were to take into consideration the recent symptoms of dangerous systemic breakdown of Western economic and financial systems (George Soros 2012, Jeff Rubin 2012, Joseph Stiglitz 2012, Richard Duncan 2012, Paul Krugman 2012) as well as the moral decay of modern culture, one wonders how much longer should the rest of the world remain subservient to the dominant paradigm of secular modernity and unethical progress. Even the multi-billion financier George Soros, in the face of “a rippling earthquake of financial instability” expresses the need for a new paradigm of financial markets to solve the crisis of global capitalism (George Soros 2012)

3 The disappointing outcome of the recent UN summit (Rio + 20) on sustainable development in a decade at Rio de Janeiro, since the first Rio Earth Summit 20 years ago, drives home the need to remodel the notion of sustainable development which includes “the capacity to address the interlinking problems of ecosystems and livelihoods intergenerational; consolidation of nature with culture, values; and civilisational aspirations for the future society and economy, such that the quality of life of humankind for generations to come remains preserved if not enhanced” Dzulkifli Abdul Razak 24 th June 2012). 3

4 In an article, “Rio’s unsustainable nonsense” written by Professor Jagdish Bhagwati at Columbia University, the author concludes that only a policy mix based on the credo “Less Excess and More Access” “will guarantee that our societies will remain viable and achieve genuine “sustainability” (Jagdish Bhagwati, 23 rd June 2012). The Summit, however, managed to come out with a 49-page document titled “The Future We Want” which Bo Normander, European director of Worldwatch Institute dismissed as “a long list of platitudes and feeling-good rhetoric” (New Straits Times editorial, 28 th June 2012). For Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, the world needs a new model of growth 4

5 THE COLLAPSE OF THE WESTERN PARADIGM OF DEVELOPMENT In this era of economic turbulence and political uncertainties, coupled with the spectre of environmental catastrophes and widespread social unrest, the current model of development – even after becoming more comprehensive in scope via the MDGs and HDIs – seriously lacks the spiritual and transcendental mechanisms to deal with the inward ailments of the human soul left unattended by the reigning paradigms of secular humanism and secular modernization strategies. The inability to envision a holistic material-spiritual human growth and wellbeing is a direct consequence of a worldview grounded in the naturalistic ontology and positivistic epistemology of modern science. 5

6 The Western social sciences from which the grand Western narrative of development or progress are constructed are even more value-loaded and problematic than the natural or hard sciences. Pulled in many different directions by the conflicting schools of thought and theoretical orientations of all shades and colours, the contemporary social sciences are not in a position to provide lasting and stable foundations for a more humane, peaceful and meaningful existence of human beings and societies in a highly pluralistic, mobile and globalised world. 6 PROBLEMS OF THE SOCIAL SCIENCES

7 Wallerstein argues that the grave ecological catastrophes the world is in now—the greenhouse effect, depletion of the ozone layer, poisonous toxic waste in the water, the air and the earth, unpredictable global warming and climate change—are “directly the result of the fact that we live in a capitalist world-economy.”(1998: 82). In his view, the present historical system is in fact in terminal crisis.”(1998: 85). He argues for the creation of “not only a new social system, but new structures of knowledge, in which philosophy and sciences will no longer be divorced, and we shall return to the singular epistemology…prior to the creation of the capitalist world economy.”(1998: 86). He thinks it is possible and desirable to bring about in the twenty-first century, “the epistemological reunification of the so-called two cultures, that of science and the humanities; the organisational reunification and redivision of the social sciences, and the assumption by social science of centrality in the world of knowledge” (The Heritage of Sociology, The Promise of Social Science, 1998: 243). 7 ECOLOGICAL CATASTROPHIES

8 THE DISEASE OF CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF POWER One of the major causes of the ongoing uprising and unrest in the Middle East today is entrenched political and economic corruption in the power structure and social system of several nation states. The pretensions and deception of autocratic regimes which have been enriching the cronies and sycophants of power at the expense of the people and the country have been exposed, and the need for political and moral reform of the corrupt system is indeed urgent. With the culture of corruption and power abuse being widespread in many parts of the Muslim world, it is not strange that massive “leakages” and partial siphoning of public funds have become commonplace practice or institutionalised in the midst of economic development or growth. The twin diseases of corruption and abuse of power pose a formidable challenge to concerned Muslim intellectuals and God- fearing leaders as they are major vices or evil deeds which should never be committed by people in authority or entrusted to govern a country. 8

9 The 2010 Corruption Perception Index shows that of the top 20 countries perceived to be least corrupt, only one Muslim country, Qatar, made it to number 19 with 7.7 score. From the list of the nine most corrupt countries with scores of 1.8 to 1.1, only one country, Myanmar, is a non-Muslim country with a score of 1.4. The rest are Muslim countries, namely Burundi (1.8 at no.170), Chad (1.7 at no. 171), Sudan (1.6 at no. 172), Turkmenistan (1.6 at no. 172), Uzbekistan (1.6 at no. 172), Iraq (1.5 at no. 175), Afghanistan (1.4 at no. 176) and Somalia, the lowest (1.1 at no. 178). China with 3.5 stand at no.78, India with 3.5 stands at no. 87, while Russia with 2.1 stand at no The Muslim countries that achieved better rankings than the majority of Muslim countries are U.A.E with 6.3 at no. 28, Brunei with 5.5 at no. 38, Oman with 5.3 at no. 41, Bahrain with 4.9 at no. 48, and Jordan with 4.7 at no. 50, and Malaysia with 4.4 at no. 56. Another group of Muslim countries perceived to be among the low achievers are Egypt (3.1 at no. 98), Indonesia (2.8 at no. 110), Bangladesh (2.4 at no. 134), Pakistan (2.3 at no. 143), and Iran (2.2 at no. 146). 9 CORRUPTION IN MUSLIM COUNTRIES

10 THE EDUCATIONAL REFORM OF MUSLIM SOCIETIES The educational system, based on the worldview of Tawhid, has to implement the integration of modern knowledge with spiritual-ethical values, of reason with revelation, and of science and religion, so as not to become subservient to the dictates of the heartless market or neo-liberal economics which lead to the commercialization of higher education and the ethical erosion of the professionals, bureaucrats, business and the power elites. Bearing in mind the critical analysis of Harry Lewis, a long-time former dean of Harvard college in his book, Excellence Without A Soul: How A Great University Forgot Education (2006), the institutions of higher learning in Muslim countries should not be blind worshippers of foreign “idols” or they too would lose their souls. 10

11 In the fight against the cancer of corruption and abuse of power, the establishment of anti-corruption agencies which are independent of political or executive influence and works professionally without fear or favour can no longer be delayed. These institutions and law enforcement bodies have to be led by leaders well-known for their integrity, competency and dignity. A culture of public and private integrity based on the foundations of `ilm, imaan, `adl,amaanah, `ubuudiyyah, taqwaa, ihsaan and ummatic responsibility – all of which are first nurtured in the family and educational institutions, and then infused into the civil service right up to the thrones of political power – would serve as a strong impregnable fortress against the onslaught of worldly temptations of one sort or the other, which have managed to topple powerful and affluent dictators, presidents, prime ministers, emperors and kings. 11 THE NEED TO DEVELOP CULTURE OF PUBLIC INTEGRITY

12 People in leadership positions must be mindful and vigilant against the spread of the diseases of the spiritual heart, the qalb, which includes hypocrisy, jealousy, nepotism, ostentation, greed, arrogance, pride, self-admiration, passion for and delusions of worldly power, wealth, fame, influence, and hubb al-dunya (love of the pleasures of the world). These are the fertile unseen breeding grounds for the viruses of corruption and abuse of power to grow and spread within the human and social systems. The continuous tazkiyat al-nafs (cleansing or purification of the soul) of the leaders, as the most fundamental internal reform process, has to go hand in hand with the vigorous comprehensive external and structural reforms to ensure that Muslim societies and countries have the capability – not just the intention or determination -- to change the trajectory of materialistic “sustainable development”. 12 TAZKIYAH AL-NAFS OF THE LEADERSHIP

13 The Blind Imitation of Secular Quality Culture Leading to Excellence without a Soul: A Lesson from Present–Day Harvard University 13

14 In facing the challenges of the New Economy (“the knowledge economy”) universities are expected to produce what Daniel Bell and Peter Drucker called “knowledge workers” a few decades ago. The Economist (October 4,1997) survey of universities entitled “The Knowledge Factory” analyses the transformation of universities in contemporary western society and finds that “the university moves even further from its origin as a sanctuary” and becoming “more an incubator of new industries in a technology-dominated economy. (October 4, 1997:5) If universities are to become “the engine room of the knowledge economy…can the university accommodate all these different demands and still remain true to itself?” (The Economist October 4, 1997:5) 14

15 The survey points out that “Outside America, many governments are already demanding more say over the kind of work that academics do. (The economist October 4, 1997:16) It would appear that the university of the future in the technologically advanced countries may consist of diminished core and a cloud of external relationships” with the “possibility of the research university turning into something akin to a holding company.” Then the great tradition of “the community of scholars” as envisioned by cardinal John Henry Newman, the founder of Catholic University in Dublin, is bound to wither way. (The Economist October 4, 1997:19) 15

16 The forces of commercialization are too strong to resist. Jennifer Washburn (University, Inc: The Corporate Corruption of American Higher Education, 2005) reveals that during the last two decades, commercial considerations have quietly transformed every aspect of academic life, and “universities are abandoning their traditional role as disinterested sources of education, alternatives perspectives, and wisdom.” The greatest shame for the great past presidents of Harvard University such as Derek Bok would be to read a book by a former Dean of Harvard College, Harry R. Lewis, who had more than 40 years of personal experience with Harvard, which illustrates with bold honesty how Harvard College has lost its educational mission (see Excellence Without A Soul: How A Great University Forgot Education, Public Affairs Press, 2006). 16 COMMERCIALISATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION

17 EMERGENCE OF ISLAMIC UNIVERSITIES IN THE 80S AND AND THE MISSIONS OF INTEGRATION AND ISLAMICISATION Islamic Universities emerged as a new model of integrated university education in the Muslim world that would: (1) put an end to the tragic dichotomy of religious sciences (`ūlūm al-dīn) and worldly sciences (`ulūm al-dunyā) by reintroducing the Islamic paradigm of the integration of human reason with Divine revelation, of science and religion, and of technology and ethics, as was the practice in the Islamic centres of learning at the height of its glorious civilisation; and, (2) equip the new generation of Muslim intellectual leaders not only with useful knowledge and skills from the natural sciences, medicine, engineering, information technology, architecture, economics, law, social sciences and the humanities knowledge, but also with the relevant Islamic values and perspectives related to those university disciplines. While the first aim is covered by the university’s mission of Integration of human knowledge, the second is subsumed under the mission of Islamisation (or Islamicisation) of human knowledge. 17

18 The underlying rationale behind these two intertwined intellectual mission of the Islamic Universities was the long-standing and ardent desire of conscientious Muslim leaders and intellectuals throughout the world to see the liberation of Muslim culture, society and personality from the pervasive influence of the ideology or worldview of secularism – which they regarded as understandable and even legitimate in the Western context, due to the peculiarities of past European experience vis-à-vis the powerful authority and dogmas of the Church – which runs counter to the worldview of Islamic monotheism (Tawhid) which does not subscribe to the dichotomy of the sacred and the profane, the separation of worldly knowledge from religious knowledge, or the divorce of human reason from the guidance and wisdom of Divine revelation. In the worldview of Islamic monotheism, the human intellect is, first and foremost, a God-given trust (amanah) which is meant by its Creator and Sustainer to be used in accordance with guidelines, principles and values provided by Divine revelation. 18 RATIONALE FOR THE MISSION

19 But the process of Westernisation and secular modernisation in the Muslim countries during the colonial period, and continued in the post-colonial period – albeit in different and more subtle forms at the hands of thelocal power elites or agencies – have introduced the social sciences, the humanities and the natural and physical sciences based almost entirely on the secular humanistic, naturalistic or materialistic worldviews. In the production and the development as well as the dissemination of those three branches of human knowledge, the human intellect is the only means and source of knowledge and wisdom. Therefore, its operation within the framework of agnostic, atheistic, secular humanistic, materialistic or naturalistic worldviews would somehow bear the imprints of the underlying primary assumptions of those non-Tawhidic worldviews or philosophies. 19

20 The mission of Integration and Islamicisation of human knowledge in the context of International Islamic University Malaysia was translated in the following ways in designing the university curriculum: 1. All the three branches of “acquired human knowledge”, would be taught in English using text books or references which are available in the market, but they are to be imbued, as far as possible, with relevant Islamic values and perspectives -- wherever or whenever necessary. In the case of the hard sciences, engineering and technology—including information and communication technology courses -- the integration of Islamic ethics or spiritual values has become an important part of the curriculum. The medical sciences have also incorporated the relevant content from Islamic ethics, jurisprudence, creed and Islamic cultural and moral values. This integrationist approach is also adopted in the curriculum of architecture and environmental design. In the case of engineering, medical, architectural and accountancy degree programmes, they are also required to comply with the national professional competency standards set by the respective national or international governing bodies. 20 THREE MODES OF INTEGRATION

21 2. Another approach is to provide a comparison between the conventional and the Islamic systems in the fields of law, education, economics, finance and business, while emphasising the importance of the Islamic perpectives, values or theories which are normally dealt with in the specific courses within the same department or faculty. In the case of the faculty of law, students who wish to become specialists in Islamic law and Islamic legal practice, in addition to their expertise in the conventional legal system, can continue into the fifth year to get a second degree in the special field. 21

22 3. It is compulsory at the undergraduate level for all students – except for students studying Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Heritage (IRKH) programmes, which are taught mainly in Arabic – to study four compulsory university courses dealing with the Islamic worldview, science and civilisation, ethics, and religious obligations. Arabic language proficiency at different levels – from elementary to intermediate -- are required of all students, while those studying IRKH courses and Islamic law specialisation courses have to possess advanced level proficiency in Arabic. The ability to read the Qur’an properly is also a requirement for Muslim students, while Islamic personality or character development of the students and their community service or engagement programmes are handled by the Student Affairs Division as part of the co-curricular activities. 22

23 INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMANITIES AND ISLAMIC REVEALED KNOWLEDGE DISCIPLINES IN ONE FACULTY The study of social sciences and humanities is handled by the unique Kulliyyah (Faculty) of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences (KIRKHS), which integrates the social science disciplines with humanities under the title “human sciences” which co-exist with Islamic revealed knowledge disciplines (ma`arif al-wahy) within a single faculty. This is the largest faculty of IIUM comprising ten departments with around 4000 students, including undergraduates and postgraduates. 23

24 DIVORCE OF REASON AND REVELATION AS THE BASIC DIFFERENCE The divorce of the metaphysical and spiritual dimensions of the public sphere and the modern sciences is understandable given the long and bitter conflict between the Church and the proponents of independent human reason in pre-Enlightenment Europe which led to the triumph of secularism, positivism and empiricism. In Islamic culture, civilisation and history such a divorce would be untenable and unjustifiable because the epistemology and worldview of Islam posit a harmonious and complementary relationship between divine revelation and human reason. 24

25 The Islamic critique of capitalism and socialism, secular democracy and communism, secularized education and secular legal system was among the earliest to be mounted by the Muslim reformist and revivalist thinkers in the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and in the Malay-Indonesian archipelago. In the face of the ideological and intellectual challenges coming from the dominant post-colonial Western thought, they argued for the need to promote an “ Islamic economic system”, an “Islamic educational system”, an “Islamic legal system”, and an “Islamic political system” in the Muslim countries which have adopted the secularised Western educational, economic or political systems, although this early reformist and revivalist Muslim discourse lacked the sophistication and scholarly rigour and finesse that the contemporary experts in the social sciences are capable of. 25 ISLAMIC PERSPECTIVES ON ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS

26 EPISTEMOLOGY OF TAWHID AND SECULAR EPISTEMOLOGIES Epistemology, or the theory of the nature, sources, scope and limits of human knowledge, is fundamental to all sciences, natural or social, because it constitutes the basic assumptions or presuppositions about how scientists claim to know or study the subject matter. In the social sciences, epistemology is a sub-topic of the philosophy of the social sciences which includes the study of ontology, an important branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of “being”. In the modern Western social sciences, however, ontology refers in general to the theoretical assumptions about social reality or the nature of the “world out there”, independent of the investigator or the observer of social phenomena, actions or behaviours. 26

27 27 Materialism Realism- Philosophical realism - Socio-political realism Postpositivism Positivism- Antipositivism and Critical theory EmpiricismRationalism Constructivist epistemology - Constructivism and sciences Perspectivism Behavioralism- Behavioralism as a Political Approach Cognitive revolution Behaviorism Idealism- Types of Idealism Social Constructionism Deconstruction Post- structuralism Postmodern philosophy Marx's materialism - Criticism and alternatives

28 Each of the above-mentioned epistemological positions, as well as those not mentioned above, provides the general philosophical, ideational, ideological or theoretical framework from which social science theories, concepts, analytical tools and methodologies are constructed and developed. The variety of epistemological positions and paradigms of modern knowledge reflects the breadth of intellectual freedom and the liberalism of modern Western thought which permits the growth of different as well as conflicting schools of thought, without necessarily impeding the consolidation or the privileging of certain schools of thought to emerge as the reigning orthodoxy for a certain period of time. 28

29 The major issue from the Islamic point of view, however, is not so much related to the micro methodological or theoretical details, or with many useful and enlightening results of Western social science research – in spite of differences in the schools of thought – as with the macro philosophical underpinnings, the underlying worldviews or the basic epistemological frameworks. The separation of human reason or sense experience from religious faith in realities which are beyond the ken of human reason, or the exclusion of metaphysical or spiritual dimensions of life in human beings and the universe in the attempt to explain, understand or forecast human or social behaviour – especially if they concern Muslim actors or behaviour – constitute the most fundamental difference between the Islamic epistemology and the secularist or humanist epistemologies. 29 THE MAJOR ISSUE

30 Apart from this epistemological difference, the worldview of Islam projects its own theology, cosmology, ontology, anthropology, axiology and religious history, all of which shape a more holistic (physical, mental, spiritual and moral) understanding of man, family, society, culture, politics, economics, education, law, international relations. The nature, means and goals of social change envisioned in the worldview of Islam shape the Islamicised social sciences within an epistemology that harmoniously integrates divine revelation with human reason. 30

31 This theocentric vision of social life and culture in which man is His obedient servant and trustworthy vicegerent on God’s earth is definitely at variance with the secular humanist vision of “man as the measure of all things.” This does not, however, prevent Muslim individuals, scholars and communities from learning and benefitting from all the useful and non- contradicting knowledge, theories, concepts, methods or systems produced by Western social sciences, for they are guided by the famous Prophetic advice that “Wisdom is the lost property of the believers; wherever they find it they are entitled to it.” They may even collaborate with non- Muslim scholars or organisations on programmes or projects aimed at the improvement of socio-economic or socio-political conditions of Muslim communities, provided such programmes or projects are motivated by sincere intentions. 31

32 FAITH AND INTELLECT GUIDED BY DIVINE REVELATION: THE ISLAMIC WAY What human beings as His obedient servants, or scholars as the inheritors of the Prophetic mission, ought to do is to construct human knowledge and understanding of himself, nature and society by using the God-given intellect (‘aql), freed from the corrupting elements of the lower self (nafs, hawa, shahawat), in light of true faith (iman) in the Living Compassionate Master (Rabb al- ‘alamin) and always guided by the higher God-given knowledge, guidance and wisdom as revealed in His Books which culminated in the unique Qur’an and exemplified in the tradition of the Final Messenger and Prophet, Muhammad (S.A.A.S.). 32

33 TAWHIDIC EPISTEMOLOGY VS SECULARIST EPISTEMOLOGIES The Tawhidic epistemology, unlike the secularist or rationalist or empiricist epistemologies of Western social sciences, priveleges the authority and superiority of divine revelation (wahy) as the highest and most perfect knowledge which unveils theological, metaphysical, spiritual, moral, historical, eschatological truths and divine purpose – matters which the human mind or reason can never discover on its own – but, at the same time, urges the use of the senses, the powers of observation, reflection, logical thinking, discursive, contemplative and intuitive powers of the God-given intellect to gain knowledge of the realities of the world and to develop human life on earth in the most beneficial way as a prelude to the everlasting life in the reality of the Hereafter. 33

34 READING THE TWO BOOKS OF GOD, THE UNIVERSE AND THE QUR’AN, TOGETHER, IS A REQUIREMENT HOLISTIC PROGRESS While the secularist, rationalist or empiricist epistemologies of modern civilization do not accept divine revelation as a source of knowledge, the Tawhidic epistemology obliges the obedient servant and scholar of God to use the two major sources of knowledge, the “Open Book” of God (the universe and nature) and the “Recited Book” of God (divine revelation of the Qur’an) as two complementary and harmonious structures of knowledge. 34

35 FIKR AND DHIKR, THE METHOD OF ULU’L-ALBAB The believers who use these two complementary sources by combining rational thinking (fikr and tafakkur) with profound consciousness and remembrance of Allah (S.W.T.) are the best examples of Islamic scholars and intellectuals, which the Qur’an extols as the Ulu’l-Albab (people who use sound reason). Thus the most important attribute of a scholar or man/woman of knowledge is the God-fearing attitude (taqwa, khashyat Allah). 35

36 LIFE AS ‘IBADAH AND STRUGGLE AGAINST KUFR, SHIRK, MUNKAR, NIFAQ, ZULM The most important aspect of human history then is the narrative of human submission to or rebellion of God, the most important meaning of human life is that of “servitude” to God, and striving in His cause, while the worst and most despicable way of life is one of denial (kufr) or rejection of God, of polytheism (shirk), and of hypocrisy (nifaq). The best model of a God- fearing society, state and harmonious multi- religious culture was the Prophetic model and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs. 36

37 CHAOS, DISINTEGRATION AND THE PROSPECT OF TAWHIDIC INTEGRATION Thus the Islamicisation of social sciences at the hands of Muslim scholars finds its rationale and justification in the Qur’anic imperative and Prophetic example to actualise the Best Community and the necessity to implement IQRA’ B’ISMI RABBIKA’ LLADHI KHALAQ. The chaotic and collapsing human constructs as manifested in modernist and postmodernist philosophy, secularist epistemology, unjust and market-oriented economics, Machiavellian and immoral politics, sophisticatedly biased media, severely ravaged ecosystem and increasingly sensate mass culture that worships the mediocre, the vain and the vulgar, that have been spawned by the paradigms of secular humanistic modernity, makes the Islamicisation mission even more pressing and meaningful. 37

38 THE OPPORTUNITY ISLAMICISATION OF CONTEMPORARY HUMAN KNOWLEDGE The current global economic crisis which is considered as the worst since the Great Depression of the 30s is perhaps but a symptom of the larger systemic moral decadence of an unjust (zalim) contemporary civilization – a civilization founded and constructed upon the dominant worldview of secularism which dethroned God and, instead, deified autonomous human reason. This provides a historic opportunity for Muslim thinkers and academic institutions to come forward with alternative paradigms of knowledge, systems, perspectives, approaches and ideas. 38

39 THREE MEANINGS OF ISLAMICISATION The term “Islamicisation” is derived from the adjective “Islamic’ which can be understood to mean that something is either, a) connected with or related to Islam, such as Islamic history or Islamic conference or Islamic book; or, b) in agreement with or not in conflict with Islam, such as Islamic ideas, Islamic food, Islamic dress, Islamic medicine, Islamic neighbourhood, Islamic atmosphere or Islamic garden; or, c) complying fully with, or fulfilling the tenets or teachings of Islam, or constructed upon the foundation or doctrines of Islam, such as Islamic law, Islamic theology, Islamic creed, Islamic ideology, Islamic faith, Islamic worship or Islamic ethics. 39

40 The term “Islamicisation” extends beyond the idea of embracing those particularities of Islam to include the idea of being “acceptable by Islamic standards or criteria” or “in harmony with the values and perspectives of Islam”, such as the ideas or practices of good governance, excellence, goodness, beauty, efficiency, beneficence, advancement, best practices, harmless innovations or better ways of doing things, as long as those ideas, practices or institutions – many of which could be found in non-Muslim cultures or countries – do not conflict with the belief system, the law and ethics of Islam. This explanation, we hope, will remove the unwarranted perception or interpretation that the project of Islamicisation of Acquired Human Knowledge is a manifestation of Muslim Westophobia or prejudice against the West. 40

41 Islamicisation of Acquired Human Knowledge is an alternative paradigm for pursuing, teaching, developing, disseminating, utilising and evaluating contemporary human knowledge (as contrasted with Divinely revealed knowledge), in accordance with the worldview, fundamental principles, ethical values and norms of Islam. This paradigm encompasses the different branches of contemporary human knowledge as represented by the Western-originated behavioral sciences, human sciences, humanities as well as the modern natural, physical and applied sciences, insofar as they or parts thereof are imbued with or constructed upon worldviews, philosophies, underlying assumptions, theories or principles which are contrary or repugnant to the Islamic equivalents. 41

42 ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE OF THE ALTERNATIVE PARADIGM Among the ultimate objectives of the alternative paradigm of Islamicisation and relevantisation is the liberation of the Muslim Ummah from its internal crisis, backwardness, malaise and predicaments as well as the realization of a universal, balanced and integrated civilization based upon the harmony of Divine revelation and human reason which upholds the principle of achieving “goodness in this world” (hasanah fi al-dunya) and “goodness in the Hereafter” (hasanah fi al-akhirah). It is one of the religious duties of an Islamic university to work towards achieving the ultimate objectives. 42

43 Both the processes of Integration and Islamicisation and entail a two-pronged reformatory approach, namely the REFORM OF THE CURRICULUM of the university and the REFINEMENT OF THE CHARACTER AND WORK ETHICS of the students, scholars and administration staff of the university. This aspect and dimension of “Islamicisation of the self” is unfortunately not given the attention it deserves in most of the literature or discourse on the contemporary “IOK” project. 43

44 THANK YOU 44 شكرا T E R I M A K A S I H


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